Back Away From the Splenda — It Could Have Neurotoxic Properties
Yes, quite possibly, according to a new study on the product conducted by Swedish researchers. Splenda, the commercial name for the common artificial sweetener sucralose, continues to be a popular sugar substitute despite a growing history of alarming research findings and cautions. Now, this new research suggests that it may have dangerous neurotoxic properties.
Splenda is widely used as a sugar substitute and approved for consumption in over 70 countries. It remains a highly popular sweetener despite an ever-growing body of evidence suggesting that it may be harmful to humans. In fact, sucralose is a synthetic chemical compound that is highly resistant to biodegradation, meaning that it remains in the environment for an extremely long time. This compound is classified within the organochloride class of chemicals, a group that includes the notorious pesticide DDT. Past research has suggested that it may have potential carcinogenic and diabetes-promoting properties, and it has even been proposed to be the cause behind a worldwide increase in inflammatory bowel disease. Yet, despite all of these cautions and concerns, its use remains widespread.
The New Research
Published in the Public Library of Science (PLOS), the new Swedish study adds another alarming caution to the growing list of warnings. The researchers conducted their study using water fleas, which are becoming a leading option for scientists in investigating environmental influences on animals’ behaviors and physiology. In this study, the scientists investigated the compounds impact on the animals’ levels of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), an important enzyme in neurological function, and observed its oxidative biomarkers as well. Alarmingly, the study results led the researchers to conclude that sucralose may induce neurological and oxidative mechanisms, thus potentially disrupting animal behavior and physiology. In other words, Splenda could be responsible for adverse brain effects, possibly resulting in mental and physical harm.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
There is still much to be learned about the health effects of Splenda, and it remains widely available for consumption today. However, in light of the ever-growing body of evidence suggesting that it has serious negative health consequences, it seems wise to avoid such substances until they can be proven to be safe.
Instead of using Splenda or other artificial sweeteners in your beverages and foods, try using natural sweeteners such as honey or stevia. Even using sugar is likely a better option than Splenda, though it should be used in moderation. Finally, for the best option of all, aim to gradually reduce your sweetener intake over time. If you slowly reduce the amount of sweetener that you use, you will probably find that you start to enjoy foods more and more for their natural flavors, which turns out to be the healthiest option of all.
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Derek is a technical writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the health care field, having first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Delaware. He is a contributing author on a number of textbooks in the medical field, ran a nuclear cardiology licensing course, and has written a variety of other pieces from online training courses to medical software manuals. Derek pursues his personal interest in health and wellness by playing multiple sports and running marathons. An insatiable traveler, he spent 16 months working and living abroad while traveling through South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia.